I skipped up the sidewalk to the church wearing the new white dress Grandma bought me for my special day. The afternoon was warm, and the air was fresh. Flowers were beginning to bloom. Spring was finally here. I held Mom’s hand as we walked through the door. “This is a great day,” I said.
“It sure is, Megan.” Mom squeezed my hand and gave me one of those winks she saves for when she’s really happy. I was about to be baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and I felt wonderful.
I thought of a recent family home evening lesson on baptism. Dad opened his scriptures to the Doctrine and Covenants and read, “And this is my gospel—repentance and baptism by water, and then cometh the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost, even the Comforter, which showeth all things, and teacheth the peaceable things of the kingdom” (D&C 39:6).
“The Holy Ghost speaks to us in a still, small voice,” Dad explained. “And if we obey Heavenly Father’s commandments and listen to that voice, we will be happy.”
Inside the church, I changed into a white jumpsuit, and Mom put my hair in a braid so it wouldn’t float to the top of the water. Then we took our seats for the baptismal service. Everyone sat quietly while Sister Larsen played hymns and Primary songs on the piano. Even my baby sister sat still. After the opening prayer, my big brother Preston and Grandpa Larsen sang my favorite Primary song, “I Am a Child of God.” * As I sang I knew that Heavenly Father loves me. I was grateful that He blessed me with a family that loves me.
When it was Grandpa Ochsenhirt’s turn to give his talk, he spoke directly to me. “The Holy Ghost will help you learn what is right and wrong so that you can make the right choices,” he said. “He will also give you the strength to choose the right. And if you try to keep Heavenly Father’s commandments, the Holy Ghost will be with you as a constant companion.”
That made me think about school. Schoolwork is hard for me, and I get frustrated because I have to try harder than other students. Some of my classmates tease me when I don’t do well on tests, and I want to say mean things back. And since I don’t like being teased, sometimes I’m tempted to look at my friend’s paper and get the right answers. Could the Holy Ghost help me handle school better?
When it was time for me to be baptized, I walked down the stairs to meet my dad in the baptismal font. My heart felt large and warm. I glanced at Mom and saw that her eyes were filled with tears. Dad smiled at me, hugged me, and helped me stand the way he had shown me. Then he said the simple prayer and lowered me under the water. Afterward, Mom met me at the top of the stairs with a towel. She wrapped it around me and squeezed me tight.
“I have a great feeling inside, Mom,” I said.
She hugged me again. “That’s the Holy Ghost telling you that you’re doing the right thing.”
After I changed out of my wet clothes, the men in the family who hold the Melchizedek Priesthood laid their hands on my head. They confirmed me a member of the Church and gave me the gift of the Holy Ghost. I seemed to be surrounded by a peaceful glow.
For many weeks I felt clean and happy. I loved talking about my baptism and how my heart seemed to be growing. My family and Primary teacher reminded me often that the Holy Ghost would help me know what was right and wrong.
A few days ago I had to take a test in school, and I was really nervous. I kept thinking how easy it would be to copy from the girl sitting next to me. I knew that cheating was wrong, but I was desperate to get a good score. Then I remembered that the Holy Ghost would help me. I said a prayer in my heart asking for strength to make the right choice.
The rest of the day, I felt as happy as I had at my baptism. After school, I ran to our car and gave Mom a hug. “I got 100 percent on my test!” I exclaimed.
“That’s great!” Mom said.
“And I didn’t even cheat.”
Mom frowned. “You wanted to cheat?”
“Well, I thought about it,” I admitted. “But I had a feeling inside that it was wrong. So I prayed for help and just tried my best.”
Mom smiled. “I’m glad you listened to that feeling.”
I’m glad too. Really glad. I always want to be worthy of my companion—the Holy Ghost.
“We need the Holy Ghost as our constant companion to help us make better choices in the decisions that confront us daily.” Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “The Covenant of Baptism: To Be in the Kingdom and of the Kingdom,” Ensign, Nov. 2000, 8.